The Iranian export slab price surged by $70-85 per tonne in a recent tender held by one of the country’s major slab producers, Khouzestan Steel, supported by demand in the major outlets and a global uptrend in the slab sector.
A cargo comprising 30,000 tonnes of slab to be shipped in mid-June was traded at $720 per tonne fob southern Iranian ports early in the week of Monday April 19, up from $۶۳۵-۶۵۰ per tonne fob achieved by Iranian mills in the first half of the month.
Consequently, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel slab, export, fob ports Iran, was $720 per tonne on April 21, up from $635-650 per tonne a week earlier.
The cargo was expected to be sold to Southeast Asia or China, sources said.
The most recent sale of Iranian slab from a trader to Southeast Asia was heard last week at $690 per tonne cfr.
Prices in the billet sector also increased, but to a lesser extent than in the slab market.
A 20,000-tonnes cargo was sold this week by one Iranian mill to a trader at $591 per tonne fob southern Iranian ports, a deal confirmed by four sources.
This was up by $12-15 per tonne, compared with $576-579 per tonne fob achieved in last week’s sales.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel billet, export, fob ports Iran, changed accordingly to $591 per tonne on April 21, against $576-579 per tonne fob last week.
The most recent offers of Iranian billet from traders to Asian customers were heard around $645 per tonne cfr, sources said.
Bids from China and Southeast Asia were heard at $635 per tonne cfr, while one source said that customers from Thailand were targeting prices as low as $620-625 per tonne cfr.
More rises expected ***
“With the drop in freight costs and the price rise in the international market, even higher prices will be targeted for slab and billet in the near term,” one trader said.
He added that the cost of freight from Iranian southern ports to Asia had fallen to $35 per tonne in recent days from almost $50 per tonne earlier this month.
A source on the producers’ side, however, said that the cost of freight to Southeast Asia was nearer $38-42 per tonne this week.
Another trader said that the minimum freight cost for 45,000 tonnes of steel cargo would be $44-45 per tonne.
Despite these different price suggestions, the cost of freight was estimated to be lower compared with $38-50 per tonne last week.
“We have not placed a new tender for billet yet. Next week, maybe,” a source on the producers’ side told Fastmarkets, adding that the company will look for $600 per tonne fob.
A source on the traders’ side said that new prices targeted by slab producers were in the range of $730-750 per tonne fob.
Mobarakeh Steel, the country’s other major slab producer, has a tender to be closed this Friday.
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